Brave New World (1932) is a dystopian novel set in a world where citizens are socially engineered to be complacent and pleasure-seeking. It’s a world that worships Henry Ford – a scaled-up version of an assembly line that’s mass produced, homogenous, and ultimately consumable.
Death of a Salesman (1949) is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest plays. A poignant critique of the promises and pitfalls of capitalism and the American Dream, it follows the salesman Willy Loman, his increasingly tense relationships with his family and colleagues, and his tragic, hallucinatory descent into fantasy and madness.
Fooled by Randomness (2001) is a collection of essays on the impact of randomness on financial markets and life itself. Through a mixture of statistics, psychology and philosophical reflection, the author outlines how randomness dominates the world.
Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) is a seminal work of economics. Its ideas have proven prophetic, and remain relevant to this day. It claims that capitalism will ultimately be eroded by the very processes that define it. It also explains the differences between capitalism and socialism and their relationship to democracy, and helps readers understand the role of entrepreneurship and creative destruction in modern capitalism.
Capitalism and Freedom (1962) is one of the most influential discussions of the relationship between economic and political freedom to have ever been put to paper. Written at the height of the Cold War between Soviet socialism and Western capitalism, Milton Friedman argues that only free markets can guarantee liberty. His theory remains every bit as relevant and thought-provoking today as when it was first published.
It’s OK to be Angry About Capitalism (2023) is a critique of the economic and political system in the US. It offers a blueprint on how to move past unbridled capitalism onto a fairer and freer future.
American Psycho (1991) is a controversial cult novel that uses graphic violence to satirize modern capitalism and consumer culture. It follows the life of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy and handsome investment banker living in Manhattan in the 1980s. Beneath his polished exterior lies a psychopathic killer who preys on his victims without remorse. Bateman’s exploits quickly grow more and more extreme, and his mask of sanity starts to slip.
The End of the World Is Just Beginning (2022) asks what happens if or when the United States stops policing the global order it established after the Second World War. The short answer is that the world as we know it will come to a grinding, potentially violent halt. The longer answer takes us on a thrilling ride through the politics and economics of trade, energy, and foreign policy.
The Myth of American Inequality (2022) corrects widespread misconceptions about inequality in the United States. Taking aim at misleading official statistics, it shows that poverty has all but disappeared in today’s America and that the gap between rich and “poor” isn’t nearly as large as many people assume.
Economics: The User’s Guide lays out the foundational concepts of economics in an easily relatable and compelling way. Examining the history of economics as well as some critical changes to global economic institutions, this book will teach you everything you need to know about how economics works today.
Money Men (2022) is the astonishing story of the rise and fall of Wirecard. Once described as the PayPal of Europe, it took a small group of analysts, whistleblowers, and the tenacity of one journalist to finally bring this house of cards down.
Learn to Earn (1995) is a beginner’s guide to investing. It gives novice investors information about the history of capitalism and advice on how to pick investments and choose stocks.
How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital (2019) unlocks the secrets of the capitalist system to show budding entrepreneurs how to make big bucks without burning the candle at both ends. Packed with creative hacks and actionable advice, self-made multimillionaire Nathan Latka demolishes the myth that you need a ton of money or a dazzlingly original idea to get rich. So what do you do need? Simple: a willingness to break established rules and chart your own course.
Financial Feminism (2022) debunks the money myths and exposes the systemic oppression that keeps many stuck in toxic jobs or cycles of debt. Offering practical solutions that everyone can start today to close the wage gap, ramp up financial fitness, and build the life of their dreams.
Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate (2017) provides a peek at the secrets behind the author’s phenomenal success in the real-estate market. Full of readily applicable advice for prospective investors, the book will also help established property owners make the most of their real estate. Along the way, the author shares examples from his many years working in the industry.
Power Failure (2022) details the rise and fall of General Electric – once a great success story of international business. But its legacy went badly awry, as even casual consumers of business news will remember. Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon (2022) gives a startlingly detailed account inside the behemoth corporation, examining what went right – and then wrong.
Capitalism (2015) chronicles the history of the dominant socioeconomic system that society runs on today. From its humble beginnings in medieval Europe to its present global dominance, capitalism’s history is marked by its dynamic – and sometimes unstable – nature. Nevertheless, its influence on how society has developed over the last 200 years is paramount to understanding the modern human condition.
The Future of Capitalism (2018) offers a candid analysis of capitalism that calls for a return to communitarian ethics to mend rifts between families, communities and nations. Diagnosing the failings of modern liberalism, Paul Collier proposes the reintroduction into economic thinking of ethical concerns. He also suggests pragmatic policies that might forge a capitalism that works for everyone.
The Road to Serfdom (1944) explains the potential of socialist systems to become totalitarian and why this was so significant after WWII. These blinks will show you how socialist planning can lead to a loss of freedom, individuality and democracy.
Poor Charlie’s Almanack (2005) delves into the life and investment philosophies of one of the world’s most reclusive billionaires: Charles Munger. As vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger has been instrumental in investment decisions that have yielded profits in the billions of dollars. But Munger isn’t only interested in money. In these blinks, you’ll learn about his inspiring ethical investment philosophy, how he espouses the importance of paying taxes, and how he is a devoted philanthropist, donating money to educational institutions and causes like Planned Parenthood.
Buffett (1995) tells the tale of Warren Buffett, from his humble beginnings as a boy with a paper route for the Washington Post to his success as one of the newspaper’s largest shareholder. But of course, that’s not all. Today, Warren Buffett is one of the world’s wealthiest people and one of its biggest philanthropists. Find out how he got there, and how he applies his unique mix of hard work, consistency and frugality.
The Virtue of Selfishness (1964) is an argument in favor of self-interest and capitalist economics. At the time of its publication, it was a bold and original assertion of a new moral creed. This daring work is sure to challenge many deeply held ideals.
In 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism Ha-Joon Chang destroys the biggest myths of our current economic approach. He explains how, despite what most economists believe, there are many things wrong with free market capitalism. As well as explaining the problems, Chang also offers possible solutions which could help us build a better, fairer world.
Saving Capitalism (2015) is a biting critique of the world’s economic order but also an optimistic look into how capitalism could support the common good. These blinks will teach you how and why capitalism is failing most people, and where it needs to go to do right by the majority.
Capitalism Without Capital (2017) is an account of the growing importance of the intangible economy. Today, for the first time, most developed economies are investing less in tangible, physical assets such as machinery and factories, than in intangible assets such as software, research and development capability. These intangibles are hugely valuable but do not exist in physical form. The blinks ahead explore the nature of this trend, as well as its effects on business, the economy and public policy.
Americana (2017) traces the history of the USA from one key perspective: capitalism. Bhu Srinivasan shows how the development of the country has been closely bound up with the development of capitalism, from the New England colonies’ earliest days to the most recent innovations of Silicon Valley or Wall Street.
Named by The Economist as one of the best books of 2017
Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire (2020) asks us to rethink the way our economic system functions if we’re to survive our current crises, like climate change, inequality, and authoritarian populism. In this guide to the future, Rebecca Henderson describes how we must instill purpose into our business ventures, so that they create shared value, rather than merely shareholder value.
How to be a Conservative (2014) presents the case for traditional conservatism in a world that seems inhospitable to its existence. In this short volume, English philosopher Sir Roger Scruton lays out the case for the nation-state, a free market, and a more sensible approach to multiculturalism and human rights.
Inventing the Future (2015) is a radical manifesto for the political left. These blinks describe why the current political tactics of the left are failing, explain how neoliberalism has become today’s dominant global ideology and propose a future based on full automation and a universal basic income.
The Common Good (2018) is a call for Americans to try and work toward the collective good once again, rather than continue along the path of “whatever-it-takes-to-win,” which has been the overriding mentality for the last few decades. The author outlines the importance of the common good and how we should go about restoring it.
No Ordinary Disruption (2015) details four forces that are changing the world’s markets in profound ways. These blinks show you how the business world, the jobs that support it and the market that shapes it are transforming and what companies, governments and individuals need to do to not only survive but succeed in this new world order.
Empire of Cotton (2014) chronicles the long and complex history of that fluffy plant – cotton. These blinks detail how the cotton industry connected the world from Manchester, England, to rural India, while describing the incredible impact that cotton production has had on the development of economic systems.
The Box (2006) tells the tale of modern transportation’s poster child, the container, and how it revolutionized the shipping industry and enabled globalization. These blinks will take you on a detailed journey through this seemingly simple but revolutionary change in global systems of trade.
Drawing on powerful arguments and demonstrating extraordinary insights, in The Managerial Revolution (1941) James Burnham investigates the rise of a new ruling class – the managers – who promised to unseat wealthy capitalists from their prime position in the mid-twentieth-century economy. Although written over seven decades ago, the themes and arguments from this book still resonate in today’s society.
A Brief History of Motion (2021) provides a revealing overview of the history, and possible future, of the automobile. From the invention of the wheel, to early steam engine contraptions and the enticing promises of automated cars, you’ll find out how these vehicles changed the course of human history, and the unexpected problems they’ve caused along the way.
The Third Pillar (2019) traces the evolving relationship between the three “pillars” of human life – the state, markets and communities – from the medieval period to our own age. Economist Raghuram Rajan argues that, throughout history, societies have struggled to find a sustainable balance between these pillars. Today is no different: caught between uncontrolled markets and a discredited state, communities everywhere are in decline. That, Rajan concludes, is jet fuel for populist movements. But a more balanced kind of social order is possible.
Peers Inc (2015) provides an insider’s look at how the modern sharing economy is changing the way companies and consumers do business. It also explains how this economy may be a cure for the planet’s many ills, from rising temperatures to dwindling resources.
The Pirate’s Dilemma is an examination of the pirate spirit, its rejection of authority, and the profound ways that this philosophy has changed the world for the better. By adopting the pirate spirit, individuals and businesses have a chance to use open-source methods in order to survive, flourish and be a positive influence in the inevitable shift towards an economy in which seemingly anything can be copied.
Coined (2015) offers an in-depth explanation of money, a powerful and complex force that many of us take for granted. It examines money’s historical roots and explains the relationship between it and our emotions, while offering theories on the future evolution of money.
The Boom looks at the development and consequences of fracking, meaning the controversial drilling of shale gas and oil.
Bargain Fever explores the world of bargains, discounts and coupons, and explains why we’ll sometimes go to extreme lengths to find a good deal. Using many illustrative examples, the author presents an account of the history of bargains, explains how they influence our shopping behavior and speculates on what discounts will look like in the future.